Updated: May 9
How does someone pass the ICC General Building Contractor (A) exam?
ICC examinations are essential for contractors across the United States. Passing a building code intensive examination demonstrates that the contractor is properly trained in their field of expertise and can effectively apply the code to construction projects. Becoming a General Building Contractor requires applicants to pass an International Code Council (ICC) exam; The entire process requires three basic steps:
1. Learn what the ICC requires for General Building Contractors
The ICC 2018 General Building Contractor (A) exam requires the applicant to be knowledgeable in the International Building Code (IBC) and Concrete Manual. The IBC is the most commonly adopted model code for commercial buildings of all types. From the IBC a General Building Contractor is responsible for understanding and applying a minimum standard to all projects to ensure safety for occupancy and provision of accessibility. From these code standards, an examinee must be able to answer questions from the following categories:
Permits and General Regulations 18%
Regulations and Job Planning
Code Definitions and Terms
Building Planning and Life Safety 24%
Use & Occupancy & Types of Construction
Fire & Smoke Alarms & Fire Protect Systems
Occupancy Needs & Interior Environment
Exiting & Means of Egress
Structural Systems 46%
Footings and Foundations
Wall Framing and Stairs
Roof Ceiling Construction Roof Assembly
Building Envelope 12%
Glass and Glazing
Exterior Finishes and Roof Coverings
2. How to study for the General Building Contractor (A) (G11) Test
Knowing how to tackle answering questions from all of the required sections is a daunting task. Practicing answering building code questions is essential for a contractor. In the field, a contractor should be able to answer general questions about structural framing, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing and their associated rating requirements. During an exam, test takers must be able to navigate the International Building Code fast enough to answer all of the questions within the allowed time of 4 hours. Building Code Masters has several practice exams for contractors to test their skills and learn the most essential questions and scenarios they will be presented with. Practice tests for contractors can be found through the provided links below:
3. How to take the ICC General Building Contractor (A) Exam
When taking a building code examination, it is essential to be able to navigate the code fast enough to find all of the answers in the text. Most ICC examinations are open book and because of this, obscure and hard to memorize material will be included in all of the examinations i.e. large tables and some mathematical formulas. The 2018 General Building Contractor (A) exam requires applicants to be able to answer the following questions in the allocated time:
Number of questions: 80
Time limit: 4 hours
This means that examinees will have roughly three minutes per question. It may appear as a generous amount of time but some questions will be longer and more in depth than others which requires an examinee to be able to have section locations of the books memorized. Having chapter locations memorized and pacing oneself will lead to passing the exam.
To sign up for the examination some States require pre-authorization, ensure you check with your applicable State prior to registering. When ready to take the exam, sign up is a simple process through the ICC website: https://www.iccsafe.org/certification-exam-catalog/
Practice exams from Building Code Masters prepare test takers for the time crunch and memorization of the most important sections of the code. Whether the exam is focused on building, mechanical, electrical, or plumbing, Building Code Masters has all of the study materials available to help test takers learn how to become better educated contractors, building inspectors, plans examiners, and building officials.
For a complete list of practice exams and study materials, CLICK HERE.